Two weeks ago in a special surprise session of the North Carolina General Assembly, Republicans passed several laws aimed at stripping governor-elect Roy Cooper of his power to govern the state. The laws were quickly signed by outgoing governor Pat McCrory. Roy Cooper is a Democrat. North Carolina’s Republicans don’t believe Democrats should have the same powers as they do, thus the making and the signing of the new laws.
When the laws were passed, Cooper said he had every intention of suing the state legislature. On Friday, December 30, Cooper made good on that promises, stating that a law ending the control governors have over statewide and county election boards was unconstitutional because it gives legislators too much control over how election laws are administered.
Currently, the board of elections has three members, with a majority from the governor’s party. The new law would undercut the governor’s authority by having it made up of four members, two from each party.
On Friday, Wake County Superior Court Judge Don Stephens ruled in Cooper’s favor, temporarily blocking the law that was due to go into effect on January 1, to coincide with Cooper being sworn in as North Carolina’s governor. Stating that the law was a risk to free and fair elections, Stephens said he would review the proposed law in more detail next week.
No doubt, Republicans will be irate.
Curses, foiled again!
In addition to Cooper’s lawsuit against the state legislature, this past Wednesday the Republican-controlled state board of education said it would be suing the state legislature as well. In this lawsuit Republicans will be suing members of their own party.
The board of education is suing because one of the new special session surprise laws transfers many of its powers over to the state’s newly elected Republican state superintendent of public instruction. That lawsuit, like the one filed by Cooper, claims that this new law is also unconstitutional.
Illustration: Snidely Whiplash from Rocky and Bullwinkle Wiki.